Letters to the Editor
A lawsuit was filed in Washington D.C. against the Secretary of the Interior, March 20, 2014 by the Mackinac Tribal Nation for the petition of record for the right to file under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. The lawsuit comes after decades of harmful neglect by the Bureau of Indian Affairs who was not named in the suit, and after land claims cessions failed to recognize the Mackinac.
The coalition tribal government has presented their Draft Constitution and bylaws for the tribe with a request the Secretary of the Interior to call for an election to adopt such constitution and bylaws “pursuant to 25 CFR Part 81.5(a), and perform such other aforementioned laws and regulations.”
The lawsuit claims that in 2011, the various Mackinac organizations (Bands) agreed to request the federal Secretary of the Interior to conduct a federal election to reorganize “all” Mackinac descendants under the Federal statute. The lawsuit further claims that the Secretary never responded. Reorganizing under federal statute would extend federal recognition to the Mackinac.
The lawsuit is made by the Mackinac Tribe of Odawa and Ojibwa Indians, and the Mackinac Band of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians, who together constitute all legitimate successor entities to the Mackinac Bands signatory to the Treaty with the Ottawa and Chippewa concluded at the city of Detroit, Mich. on July 31, 1855. The new entity will be referred by “The Mackinac Tribe Nation”.
The lawsuit also claims that the Treaty of 1855 did not in fact dissolve the Ottawa, but in fact promised to deal with the Ottawa Bands in the future as outlined in Article V of the 1855 Treaty.
Under Indian Reorganization Act, the Mackinac Tribe Nation is seeking tribal jurisdiction and recognition for land claims, hunting and fishing rights, the protection of religious freedom and other treaty obligations.
We do have a beautiful Upper Peninsula War Memorial and Park located at the top of Pine Mountain but, we also have the following concern.
If you were wondering why there is no American Flag flying on top of the hill at the memorial, I will try to explain. The flag that is flown from Memorial Day to Veterans Day is a 20 foot by 30 foot flag and is rather expensive. Replacing the flag is the biggest expense that the corporation has in maintaining the memorial at the top of Pine Mountain. The weather and wind really are hard on a flag at that location, and winter weather is even worse because of the flag getting wet and freezing. That is why there is no flag flying from November through May, although there is an American Flag and a POW-MIA flag on the front of the pavilion in the park so it is not like we do not have any flag being displayed.
We do hope people understand how hard it is to keep a flag flying on top of that hill with the weather that we have. The expense of replacing these flags costs approximately $4,800 per year for purchasing and repairs of the flags, and for the electric bill for night time flying of the flag. Squadron #50 War Memorial Corporation is asking if there are any organizations, clubs, businesses or individuals interested in sponsoring a flag or making a monetary donation to help us keep money in the account for replacing the flag.
If anyone is interested in sponsoring a flag or making a donation you can contact Robert Massicotte at (906) 221-9964 or just send any donations marked Flag Chairman to: Squadron #50 War Memorial Corp., 916 River Ave., Iron Mountain, MI 49801.